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eoghan murphy

Conor Skehan, outgoing chair of the Housing Agency, claimed earlier this week that some people may be saying they are homeless in order to be prioritised on the housing list.

Housing Minister Eoghan Murphy responded to this statement with doubt, though, the Journal.ie reports.

I have no evidence in my Department of people presenting or trying to 'game the system',' Eoghan told the Journal.ie.

However, the Minister did not criticise Conor for making such a claim.

'He advises on Government policy and how he thinks it might be impacting.'

'It's fair enough that he can do that, that is his role. It is not for me to criticise him for doing that, it is important that we have different voices in this debate,' the TD explained.

In Conor's assertion that families are 'gaming the system', he referenced a 2015 measure in which half of all social housing allocations in Dublin go to homeless people.

However, that practice ended in 2016 in order to ensure that general applicants were not being overlooked.

People who are homeless are still given priority on the Dublin City Council's housing list, though.

'Conor was saying that that may have been an unintended consequence of previous Government policy,' Eoghan noted.

'My commitment is to make sure that we build as many homes as possible to make sure we get these people who are in very difficult circumstances into homes.'

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A record number of people are residing in temporary emergency accommodation, according to the Department of Housing figures acquired by RTÉ.

Figures show that 8374 people used emergency accommodation in the month of September this year.

Almost 6000 of these people are located in Dublin.

This is a drastic increase on previous figures.

Over 3000 of these were children, according to RTÉ.

'Month-on-month, we have seen consistent increases in those presenting as homeless with no clear intervention to prevent these people becoming homeless in the first place,' Inner City Helping Homeless (ICHH) chief executive Anthony Flynn told Today FM.

'This is a National Emergency and needs to be treated as such – the state is failing'

Minister for Housing Eoghan Murphy said in a statement: 'Families and individuals continue to present to our emergency accommodation services.'

'There are still 690 families in hotels – while any one family in a hotel or B&B is one too many – this is still significantly down on the high point in March earlier this year, when 871 families were in hotels and B&Bs.'

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